• Upgrading Ubuntu 13.10 32-bit to 14.04 64-bit (Dell XPS 15z)

    Ubuntu LogoI’ve been running Ubuntu under 32-bit for a very long time – in fact, in all the years I have used Ubuntu, I have never installed a different architecture (unless you’re talking about Ubuntu server). Histirically, this has always been because, when doing clean installs, Ubuntu 32-bit has always been the recommended option. More recently though, I have come across issues where having a 64-bit OS will have been of some use. I thought the upgrade to 14.04 would be an ideal time to make the change to 32-bit.

    Upgrade Option

    Upon reading around the subject, all information I have found has suggested that an in-place ‘upgrade’ is not possible and that any attempt would leave a lot of mess requiring cleaning up. As a result, I prepared for the worst, expecting to do a fresh install of Ubuntu and then restore my files from backup. I was, therefore, very pleased to see the option to upgrade my existing 13.10 install, instead of wiping the entire disk.

    Nothing to Lose

    With my original plan to do a fresh install of everything, I had no real issue attempting the upgrade first. Should it fail, I could just start from scratch. During the upgrade, the installer makes a list of all the installed software, and where possible attempts to install the 64-bit equivalent. Where this is not possible the software is uninstalled. The following applications are among those which I have had to reinstall:

    • Oracle JDK 7
    • Eclipse (I never use the repository version)
    • AfterShot Pro (I can’t actually install this at the moment, as it depends on some libraries no longer available in 14.04)
    • GIMP
    • Chrome
    • Skype
    • MySQL Server
    • Python Dev packages and Python MySQL libraries.
    • MySQL Workbench

    As mentioned above, I have been unable to install AfterShot Pro – I’m still looking for a solution to that. Otherwise, all installed apps have worked well and my home folder was left intact – which was the ultimate goal of doing an upgrade rather than a clean install.

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